Reviews written by Mabel
Registered on Oct 15 09
I had really high expectations for this place, seeing as I'd heard about it for years, but never been. When my boyfriend & I went up to Duluth for a weekend getaway, our B&B offered us a $50 gift certificate to one of four restaurants in the area. We chose the Scenic Cafe because we'd heard it was veg-friendly, and we knew it would be a pretty drive up there.
Well, it was a pretty drive, but it was not vegan-friendly in the least. Even when I called to make the reservation, I asked the hostess who answered the phone if they had any vegan dishes. (I didn't see any on the menu posted on their website.) She said that "practically anything" can be made vegan, and to just ask our server for vegan options when we arrive. She even said the chefs "enjoy the challenge" of creating vegan dishes when necessary.
After we were seated & had looked over the menu (not seeing anything vegan, and only a couple vegetarian options), I asked our waitress what could be made vegan. She gave me a blank stare for a few seconds, and then said, "Ummm, I don't really know." Then she looked over the menu in front of me, starting to point at things, then pulling her finger away. Eventually, she said we could get the Ratatouille Lasagna without any of the cheese on it (which took away half of the ingredients, since most of the vegetables & noodles were covered in cream), and the Tempeh Reuben without the dressing. She said the chefs couldn't make anything special (which I wouldn't even normally ask, but the hostess I spoke with said they would if necessary).
The vegetables in the dishes we received were flavorful, but all in all, it was really boring. Also, each dish was something like $18, and they really literally were pretty much just grilled veggies, since they took away all the expensive ingredients... The Reuben didn't even have ANY sort of dressing on the toasted bread. I knew it wouldn't have the Russian Dressing (it had sour cream or something in it), but they really didn't even have any hummus, non-dairy mayo or non-dairy butter, or other vinaigrette or SOMETHING to put on it to make it somewhat exciting & not super dry??
I dunno. I hate complaining & sounding like "the picky vegan" (I'm really not)... And I wouldn't normally fault a restaurant up north for not having a lot of veg options, but I specifically asked the hostess well in advance of our reservation (i.e. gave them warning that vegans were coming) what could be made vegan, and she assured me we would have plenty of things to choose from. We didn't.
I really don't understand the hype, and I don't think I'll be back, especially considering the prices... At least not until they get some suitable vegan options on their menu.
SUPER slow service. It took about 10 minutes for our waiter to even come over (and the restaurant was dead, but he was really busy standing outside talking to his friends & looking at pictures on their digital cameras...). When he finally came over, he had a snotty attitude & acted like we were bothering him.
After looking at the menu, I noticed two things: 1) Expensive (for this type of food), and 2) No bean burrito or any sort of veg entree. When our waiter dropped off our waters, he said, "Let me know if you have any questions about the menu" as he started to walk away. I said, "Actually, I'm wondering if you have a bean burrito or anything like that?" Him: "Uh, no. Are you vegetarian or something?" Me: "Yes. Well, I'm vegan." Him: "Oh, well... Uh, good luck! HAHAHA. No, I'm kidding." Then he walked away... Really?? This is a Mexican restaurant, for crying out loud! Mexican is one of the EASIEST cuisines to make filling & veg-friendly.
By the time he came back again (another 10 minutes later), I had noticed black beans & roasted vegetables on the Side Dish part of the menu. That'll do! I told our waiter I'd like those, with some salsa, and asked for no cheese to be on the beans. My two companions ordered the same thing. Our food came, and sure enough, cheese was sprinkled over the beans & there was no salsa. I really don't enjoy complaining at restaurants, so I just scraped the cheese off & ate my food--which was actually quite good. I also asked for salsa (again), which never came. But hey--he was busy chatting with friends outside again, so apparently he didn't have time.
I do have to say that when our bill came, I was VERY pleasantly surprised to see that each side (which were really big) was only $3! Based on the rest of the menu ($5 for ONE taco?! $16 for a burrito entree?! In a bar?!), I was afraid the beans & veggies would each be $7+ (no price was listed on the menu)... So, that was the one good thing about Bar Abilene & the only reason I'm not giving them 1 star.
Oh, also--our waiter forgot to charge us for our guacamole (sans anchovies),which was $10/bowl. I normally would have said something, but he was so bad that I don't feel one bit guilty about keeping that to myself...
I hadn't eaten at Big Bowl for years & couldn't really remember if I liked it or not, so my boyfriend & I made a stop for lunch when we were running errands in the area. The verdict is... Eh, it is alright... The food is decent--nothing great, but certainly not bad, either.
I had the Yellow Curry Vegetables with Tofu, and my boyfriend chose the Kung Pao Tofu & Spinach. Mine had decent flavor, but wasn't anything exciting. His was really spicy & I didn't care for the taste when I tried it, but he enjoyed it well enough. I didn't like that they don't offer the choice of brown or white rice; they just have white jasmine, and while it is tasty, I much prefer the flavor & nutrition of brown rice. I also think that Big Bowl is pricey for what it is... Say what you will about PF Chang's, but you get way more food there for a bit less money & I think it's tastier, too.
Big Bowl is the only place in the Galleria where the staff is friendly & don't give the patrons dirty looks like we don't deserve to be there. I appreciate that.
This is a great cafe! AMAZING iced coffee, and I love that they sell wine & beer here, too. Really good food, and a lot of options (especially for a coffee shop) are available each day! I also like the ambiance, and the servers are very friendly & helpful (no coffee shop 'tude like I all too often experience).
It is always packed when I'm here, so it's not always easy to find a seat (and there are no comfy chairs; just tables), but it's understandably busy as this is a great place to be. There aren't enough outlets to plug everyone's laptops into, which is why I knocked off one star. But the ethics & mission statement of Common Roots are terrific & such a refreshing change from most cafes. Oh--great music, too! I spent a Sunday afternoon here a couple weeks ago, and they played a lot of guilty pleasure music from the '80s, particularly Michael Jackson. And of course I was singing along out loud because I can't help it.
I was pleasantly surprised by this place. I was in the area, and became HUNGRY - and needed food immediately. Popped into Dino's & ordered the Falafel Sandwich. It came on a soft, fluffy pita with veggies & Tzatziki sauce; but since I don't eat dairy, I subbed the Tzatziki for creamy, flavorful hummus. The falafel wasn't the best in the world (duh), but it was surprisingly tasty, and the whole sandwich hit the spot. I wouldn't go out of my way to eat here, but I'd stop in again in a pinch.
Ecopolitan really is a fabulous restaurant. I'm so proud to have a place like this in Minneapolis!
The servers are friendly, the menu is large & diverse, and I always leave feeling full--yet not overly so. Just perfectly satisfied.
Things I've had here (all of which are delicious, unless otherwise noted):
-Tostadas (my favorite item on the menu!)
-Strawberry Marinara (sadly, not very good)
-Guacamole & Salsa
-Casheese (Cashew "Cheese") Roll (YUMMMM!)
-Purple Kale Salad
-Young Coconut Juice
-Coconut Supreme Smoothie (Good, but I won't order again)
-Strawberry Shortcake Smoothie
-Vanilla Almond Smoothie
They also offer Organic Wine Works' Radical Red, which is my favorite wine EVER. Ever.
Yes, it can get a little expensive, but not ridiculously so - especially for the wonderful atmosphere (and outdoor seating), attentive staff, and the quality of the ingredients. I've also always had leftovers to take home with me. I recommend going in a small group so you can share several dishes & try a variety of things.
It does take a LONG time to get your food, so do not come here if you're in a hurry. I don't think I've ever been out in less than two hours--but I've also only come when I have time to spare & want to enjoy a leisurely dinner.
I am definitely trying the Berry Parfait for dessert the next time I come! That sounds divine.
I LOVE this store! How wonderful that we now have TWO vegan specialty shops in Minneapolis - Ethique Nouveau and Fast & Furless.
This not-for-profit shop is adorable & has so many great veg-friendly items. You'll find lip balms, non-leather purses, bath salts, wallets, books, cookbooks, stickers, magnets, t-shirts, cosmetics, paintings, food, and much more! The prices are incredibly fair, and every purchase benefits animal-related programs.
The space is really warm & inviting, with soft lighting & beautiful hardwood floors. I wanted to buy so many things when I stopped in yesterday, but I kept it to a cute/funny little sticker, a magnet (that says "Lovin' my vegan oven!"), and some AMAZING chocolate truffles with various fillings. (Holy moly, these truffles are incredible.)
Ethique Nouveau also collects fur coats (and fur-trimmed accessories) to send to wildlife rehab groups like Coats for Cubs.
I really enjoyed my visit to this store yesterday & I'll be back as often as my pocketbook will allow.
The first time I visited Evergreen (a year ago), I thought it was "okay, but nothing really special." I hadn't gone back not because I didn't enjoy it, but because I really don't go out to eat much, and when I have over the past year, I didn't feel an overwhelming desire to return to Evergreen. That has definitely changed now!
Between my last few visits, I have had the Vegetarian Spring Rolls (with sweet & sour sauce), Three Cup Tofu, Sweet & Sour Mock Chicken, Lemongrass Mock Beef, House Style Eggplant with Basil, and Pepper Fried Mock Pork.
Everything was AMAZING. The Three Cup Tofu was very delicately flavored & aromatic (and intensely delicious), the Eggplant melted in my mouth & was perfectly seasoned, and the Lemongrass Mock Beef had a perfect texture & tasted divine. The Spring Rolls and Sweet & Sour Veg Chicken are nothing "special," but they're tasty nonetheless & a nice treat to remind me of the Americanized Chinese food I ate growing up. (Everything else is not "Americanized," but rather very authentic.) My boyfriend & parents love the Mock Pork, and while I like the flavor, I can't get over the texture - it reminds me way too much of real pork (which would be a good thing for some people). I actually asked the waitress twice if she was SURE it was the vegetarian pork because I haven't had pork from a pig in probably 5 years, and it looked too real to me... The flavor was great, but for me, the texture was too "meaty." (This isn't a complaint, and as I said, both my boyfriend, mom & dad love it. I just wouldn't order it again for me, personally, as meat skeeves me out.)
The atmosphere leaves a lot to be desired, but I could be served this food in a damp cellar with a dirt floor & not care. I also love that Evergreen is family-owned & run. It's always great to support local businesses!
Anyway, I could go on & on (and on & on) raving about this food. But in summary, it's incredible. I will be back often.
I like French Meadow a lot more than I imagined I would... For some reason, I thought it would be filled with pretentious hipsters & that the service would be bad. I mean, the airport locations are VERY sub-par (like they ignore me for 15 minutes & are ALWAYS out of whatever I want to order & charge me $7 for a *tiny* fruit cup & then forget to make whatever dumb sandwich I eventually settle on)... However, all of the hosts/servers at this actual restaurant location are SUPER friendly & attentive, and there is a good mix of people here.
PLUS, the food is just too awesome for words. I have literally dreamt about the Tempeh Cutlet (on top of a blood orange vinaigrette with coconut red beans, braised greens, and brown rice). It is so freakin' incredible, my mouth is watering just typing about it. And I don't even like tempeh! I have tried making it multiple times at home, and it is just... Blech. Ew. But French Meadow does it right. They take gritty, tasteless tempeh & somehow turn it into a mind-blowing mouthgasm.
The Sweet Corn Arepas is also divine, and the Vegan Calzone is pretty darn good, too. The Grilled Tempeh Reuben is meh, alright - but I can no longer eat anything here but the Tempeh Cutlet. Everything I've had has been enjoyable, but the Cutlet is just... GOD, IT'S JUST SO GOOD.
My boyfriend & I once tried some sort of vegan Chocolate Caramel Turtle Cake (?) concoction that was delicious... But I'm normally so damn full after that Cutlet meal that I can't cram in any dessert.
It's very busy for brunch/lunch, but I have never had to wait long for a table at dinnertime.
I do I have to say that it ticks me off that they don't have vegan butter. I mean, they obviously want to cater to the vegan crowd because they have several vegan entrees, several vegan brunch & appetizer options, they have soy milk for lattes, AND they have a vegan special every night. However, if you go for brunch & order the vegan pancakes or toast, expect to get them dry because they don't have nondairy butter. It's not a deal breaker for me, obviously, but it's just kind of stupid, in my opinion. Their Blueberry Corn Pancakes (vegan) are delicious - but who eats pancakes without butter?! Vegans need it, too.
They also offer a lot of delicious wine (half price Sunday-Wednesday!), as well as many organic teas.
Definitely still 5 stars after eating an actual dinner here last night! I'd give more stars if I could.
Instead of a cocktail this time, I had a glass of Syrah, which was reallllly good. Between the four of us, we shared the Jasmine Crepe (vegetarian style), two bowls of the Vegetarian Pho, and Spicy Eggplant (with the addition of fried tofu). For apps, we had the Vegetarian Egg Rolls (which are actually vegan, remember) & the Salt & Pepper Tofu.
God, this food is soooo good. Everything was amazing, and I especially loved the Pho. The broth was SO flavorful, and the vegetables, mock duck & tofu tasted so fresh.
Bonus: Our server, who was the same one as last time, remembered our names! (I went back with the same friend & my boyfriend, plus the addition of one more.) We'd only been here one time like three weeks ago, so I couldn't believe he remembered all our names.
I'm really glad I don't live right next door to Jasmine 26 because if I did, I'd be one FAT vegan. Seriously, I'd eat here everyday, and be fat & poor - but it would be worth it.
Oh. My. God. Best food I have had in awhile time... And I didn't even intend on eating here.
After a potluck last Friday, my boyfriend, our friend, and I decided to stop in here for a drink or four. None of us had ever been, but had heard great things about their cocktails & their vegan food offerings.
The ambiance was really nice, and the hostesses were very friendly, as was our waiter (Zack--who was also vegan & had lots of information & recommendations for us)! I am not typically a cocktail/martini drinker because I am a lightweight & don't like the taste of booze... But their offerings were so intriguing that I ended up getting two while we were there.
Between the three of us, we sampled 5 drinks & all of them were DELICIOUS. Unfortunately, they don't have their drinks listed on their website & I can't remember the names of what we got, but I think it's safe to say you can't really go wrong. I know for sure my first drink was the Ginger Fizz, and that was awesome.
Even though we just came from a potluck, we were so excited to see such enticing vegan food on their menu that we ended up ordering the Salt & Pepper Tofu and the Veggie Egg Rolls with Tofu. (And amazingly, the Egg Rolls are actually vegan, as they're wrapped with a tasty, crunchy, eggless wheat wrap.)
Okay, words cannot do justice to the Salt & Pepper Tofu. It was just amazingly delicious & I was sort of mad that I had to share it with two other people, even though I wasn't hungry to begin with... The Egg Rolls were also really good, but we had those after the tofu, so my tastebuds were still in shock over the mind-blowing deliciousness of that. Our server also brought out pineapple & peanut dipping sauces. I didn't care for the texture of the pineapple for some reason, but the peanut sauce was great!
This place was pretty empty when we were there (like 10 p.m. on a Friday), so I hope good word of mouth travels & it sticks around for a long time. I'm reallllly excited to come back here for lunch or dinner soon! There was quite the variety of vegan options on the menu, and a lot of what wasn't vegan could be made so.
My mom special ordered a vegan cake from Lakewinds for my birthday last year, and it was DELICIOUS! Seriously SO GOOD. The baker was very friendly, and said she could make almost anything vegan. Her personal recommendation was the Chocolate Raspberry cake, which my mom ordered. I'm glad we went with that because it was AMAZING. I just can't say it enough. Also, when my mom picked up the cake, the baker said she ended up having more batter than she planned on, so she made the cake three layers instead of the two my mom requested--for no extra charge! How lovely.
I just can't get enough of Lakewinds & wish I lived inside it.
I love Lakewinds, even though I don't live nearby anymore. But I'm a co-op member here ($90 for life, which gets me awesome discounts & coupons), so I stop by pretty regularly on my way home from work. I find that this co-op has the best sales, specials, selection, food samples (all the good "s"-words, apparently...) in the Twin Cities area.
I was quite surprised when I moved from the 'burbs to Minneapolis that the Wedge (while decent) seems pretty inferior to Lakewinds as far as selection & prices go. I don't think I've ever NOT been able to find something I want at Lakewinds--including my vegan staples like vital wheat gluten & nutritional yeast, which even the Wedge doesn't always have...
Lakewinds' bakery is also wonderful; an assortment of fresh-baked bread everyday. Their staff has always been super friendly & helpful, as well.
Another awesome perk: On the day of their choosing once a month, members can use their 5% discount to receive that amount off their bill.
YES! I love Namaste. Every time I eat here, it is amazing. Delicious Nepalese food, with fantastic chai (and green & black) teas.
There are so many choices here for a vegan like myself, and everything is clearly labeled with a V (vegan) or CV (can be made vegan). All the dishes I have had have been insanely delicious--like "I don't ever want this meal to end" delicious. BUT, I would recommend not having the spice level above a 3, unless you like burning your face off. You can choose on a scale of 1-5, and the first time we went, my boyfriend (who loves spicy food!) ordered his entree with a spice rating of 4... He was sweating & practically in tears throughout the whole meal, and had to take a 5 minute break every two bites. That being said, once he learned his lesson & we went back again, he ordered his dish at a 3 & it was perfect. (2 is perfect for me because I'm a wimp.)
I love the Coconut Spinach (favorite meal here), as well as the Coconut Curry with Tofu, Eggplant & Mushrooms. Aloo Chop & Tofu Mamacha (appetizers) are AMAZING, and you can't go wrong with the Namaste Special Curry with Tofu. I also love the jasmine rice that comes with the meal.
The staff is also really friendly & attentive, without it seeming fake or like they're just wanting a good tip. Great, warm atmosphere, and I've never felt rushed to get out, even if it's really busy.
Actual, authentic, traditional Neapolitan-style pizza!
The boyfriend & I always split the Punch Salad, minus Parmesan & prosciutto (vegan here). The small size is served with two pieces of their amazing focaccia bread; the large is served with four. Then we each get our own pizza. My favorite is the Margherita (minus cheese again) with mushrooms, onions, and roasted eggplant. I have tried many, many times, but I CANNOT recreate their roasted eggplant at home! It is DIVINE. However, in my experience, the Eden Prairie Punch location has much better eggplant, for some reason. It's softer & more flavorful. But still--it is delicious no matter what.
This Mpls location is also more "cafeteria style" than the EP restaurant, in that you order at the register, then wait by the counter for them to call your number to pick up your pizza. (At EP, they bring the order to your table.) This isn't a complaint, though. Service is fast & it doesn't bother me any to carry my own food.
I also love that the pizzas are not boring without cheese. The crust & sauce are perfect, and their toppings nicely balance everything out. I can eat an entire pizza without feeling sick & sluggish afterward. It is perfectly light, yet filling & satisfying.
I would eat here every other day if I could. Seriously. I dream about it, and just writing this review is making my mouth water.
P.S. Don't forget to ask for a Punch Card!! They don't offer it outright, but if you ask, they give you one. You get a card punch each time you buy a pizza, and after 6 punches, you get one free! PLUS, they don't just give you credit for their basic (i.e. least expensive) Margherita pizza; whatever pizza you order, whether it costs $6 or $12, it's free--so don't be shy about the toppings! This is how it should always be, but usually, it's not...
Marry me, Punch?
Actual, traditional Neapolitan-style pizza! In Eden Prairie, no less.
The staff are incredibly friendly, and offer prompt service. Even when the seats are packed or the line is long, it doesn't take too long for something to open up. (And they do take-out orders if you don't feel like standing around waiting for a table during their busiest times.)
The bf & I always split the Punch Salad, minus Parmesan & prosciutto (vegan here). The small size is served with two pieces of their amazing focaccia bread; the large is served with four. Then we each get our own pizza. My favorite is the Margherita (minus cheese again) with mushrooms, onions, and roasted eggplant. I have tried many, many times, but I CANNOT recreate their roasted eggplant at home! It is DIVINE. I also love that the pizzas are not boring without cheese. The crust & sauce are perfect, and their toppings nicely balance everything out. I can eat an entire pizza without feeling sick & sluggish afterward. It is perfectly light, yet filling & satisfying.
I would eat here every other day if I could. Seriously.
P.S. Don't forget to ask for a Punch Card!! They don't offer it outright, but if you ask, they give you one. You get a card punch each time you buy a pizza, and after 6 punches, you get one free! They've even offered to give me an extra punch if my dining companion doesn't have/want their own card so I get a punch credit for their pizza... Awesome!
After drooling over their online menu, my boyfriend & I stopped into Pure Market Express last night to pick up a couple vegan (and raw!) desserts to try.
The head chef came right out to greet us & was incredibly friendly. They had samples of about 8 menu items sitting out for people to try (nuts, breads, crackers, macaroons, etc.), and everything was amazing (especially the raw pizza crackers!). He also took out a piece of their chocolate cheesecake & gave us each a big bite to sample. Totally HEAVENLY.
We had originally wanted to get the banana cream pie, but they didn't have any in the kitchen. (I think they're still finding their "groove" in this retail location, even though they've been doing online orders for quite some time. They don't have a real "sit down" area, and they have a somewhat limited selection of foods on hand at any time. This way, they can ensure that everything is made to order & very fresh. If you call ahead or order online, they will make whatever menu items you want & have them ready for take-out!) Anyway, because they were out of the pie that we requested, the chef offered to give us all FIVE of the desserts that they had in the kitchen for just $20. Considering that each dessert is normally $7-9 dollars, this was a STEAL.
-Vanilla Macaroons (Divine)
-Mudslide Pie (SO delicious! Truly amazing.)
-Chocolate Cheesecake (Holy yum)
-Lemon Meringue (slightly disappointing; not zesty or sweet enough)
-Key Lime Cheesecake (in the freezer waiting to be devoured at a later date)
Everything, with the exception of the Lemon Meringue, was incredible. I can't wait to go back to try some of their savory dishes! I absolutely love that a place like this has opened in the suburbs, and I hope they have great success so they can stick around! We need more places that have organic, fresh, natural, and vegan food, especially outside the city.
Awesome food. I wish we could have sampled more (like the Seitan Chimichurri that everyone seems to go nuts over), but we were in a rush & not toooo crazy hungry. I had some tropical smoothie that was very good. Expensive ($7), but it was super fresh & we're on the UES, so what do you expect?
For lunch, I got the Tuscan Seitan Parmesan Sandwich (vegan, though that "Parmesan" in the title makes it confusing). Suuuuuper tasty. For $13, I wish it came with chips, fries, fruit salad, or SOMETHING other than the four mixed green leaves, but oh, well. The boyfriend got the Cajun Seitan Sandwich, which was also great. I liked mine more (and so did he - ha!), but they were both delicious.
Service wasn't very friendly, but I have come to expect that about New York. I have been craving that sandwich every day since I ate it last Sunday. I can't wait to go back & try more of the menu!
DELICIOUS ice cream! Unfortunately, their equipment was broken when we visited, so they only had 5 flavors instead of the usual 10 or 12. BUT luckily, the two flavors we chose were amaaaaaaazing. A scoop of peanut butter fudge swirl & a scoop of maple pecan put together in a cute glass dish, topped wish hot fudge, coconut whipped cream, peanuts, and a cherry... Mouthgasm. Just incredible!
This place is TINY, and not quite as "cute" as I imagined (I pictured like '50s-style ice cream shoppe with fancy little stools & bright-colored counters). Truthfully, it sort of looks like a storage closet. But the product is very high-quality, the staff was really friendly, AND they had veg literature all over the store.
Most importantly, the ice cream was the best I have ever had... Well, it's tied with Maggie Mudd in San Francisco. But it's certainly better than any dairy ice cream I ever ate - and that is really saying something because I used to be QUITE the dairy ice cream connoisseur. This is creamy perfection that is sweet, rich, and satisfying.
Totally worthy of the hype. The Green & Harissa falafel are both PERFECT (didn't try the third flavor), and they go so, so perfectly inside the whole wheat pita, with hummus, tahini drizzle and pickled cabbage. I love that the menu is clearly marked with which items are vegan, and which contain egg/dairy (all are vegetarian).
After ordering, the wait was kinda long for a grab-and-go type place, but whatever. Definitely worth it, and fair prices, as well.
Just amazing! I wish I lived closer - though if I did, I'd probably turn into a falafel from eating them too often.